In Romans 5:8, the apostle Paul writes, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Two verses earlier, in Romans 5:6, he states, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” The significance of those texts is that if ever we are to comprehend the love of God for us to any degree, we must first come to grips with how innately unlovable we are.
Among the more misunderstood attributes of God is His love.
Admittedly, God’s attributes are innumerable. God is infinite. So it stands to reason that His nature cannot fully be comprehended by our finite minds and faculties. Nonetheless, I would venture to say that among God’s myriad characteristics, His love would be the first quality to come to mind were most Christians asked to describe the God in whom they profess to believe.
To test my assumption, I recently Googled the phrase “Christian God of love” and received 737 million hits. By comparison, a search of the phrase “Christian God of wrath” returned a paltry 21.8 million hits—a difference of 715.2 million. Needless to say, those results are not scientific. They neither prove nor disprove my supposition.
Nevertheless, that reality fails to mollify my curiosity about why such a gaping disparity exists.
Granted, broaching the subject of God’s love is infinitely more involved than conducting a word search on the internet. As the nineteenth-century preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “You can trace the beginning of human affection; you can easily find the beginning of our love to Christ, but his love to us is a stream whose source is hidden in eternity.”
Many professing Christians subscribe to a paradigm of God’s love that is as iambic and winsome as what Spurgeon described—and understandably so.